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Gadgets

Top 5 Android Smartphones — January 2015

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Android
Gadgets

We brought you our last top 5 Android list back in October and, as it’s already the first quarter of this year, it’s time to revisit that list. There are certainly some new models to discuss, the G Flex 2 was just introduced during CES 2015, for example, but we’re also just a couple of months away from Mobile World Congress, where it’s almost certain that the following phones will be replaced by the next batch of flagships.

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CES 2015: LG and Audi Smartwatch Runs webOS Not Android Wear, Release in 2016 (Video)

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Linux
Gadgets

LG showed off an unannounced smartwatch at CES and a hands-on video revealed the device was running webOS. A new report claims LG is planning to release the device in early 2016.

Most companies making smartwatches are looking for ways to differentiate themselves from competitors. Pebble uses an e-paper monochrome LCD display, which allows the device to get up to 7 days of battery life, and it's also one of the few smartwatches that supports both iOS and Android.

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LG's WebOS: 3rd Time's the Charm?

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Linux
Gadgets

LG Electronics turned up at last week's CES with a smartwatch that apparently runs webOS.

LG used the watch to unlock an Audi at the show.

"LG has never officially confirmed that we were planning a webOS smartwatch," company spokesperson Ken Hong told TechNewsWorld.

"I think that is speculation based on the watch that Audi announced here at CES, which we developed but have not finalized the OS for," Hong continued.

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Which Android smart watch is right for you?

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Android
Gadgets

In some ways, 2014 might be considered the year of the smart watch. A staggering number of watches – in styles from cool and understated to full on Dick Tracy – hit the market last year.

On the other hand, smart watches generally haven’t been a hit with consumers yet. Many people are waiting to see Apple’s take on the "wearable." The Apple Watch, announced in September, is expected to be released in early 2015.

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Blocks Wearables is building a modular smartwatch that you can customize any way you want

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Android
Linux
Gadgets

Earlier this year, a company called Blocks Wearables announced intentions to build its own modular smartwatch called Blocks. Here at CES, the company is showing off some very early prototypes and mock-ups of what Blocks might eventually look like and how it could work.

Blocks Wearables was exhibiting at Intel's massive booth on the CES show floor as one of the participants in the company's "Make it Wearable" competition — and while we couldn't actually get a sense for what using the Block will be like, we did get a good idea of how the whole modular smartwatch concept could play out.

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Round face Samsung Tizen Smart watch could be heading to MWC 2015? codename Orbis SM-R720

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Linux
Gadgets

Samsung has been spoiling us with their Tizen based Smart watches of late, and all of them have been sporting a square face, well that is upto now, as Sammobile reports that there is a Round face Tizen based Smart watch in the works. The upcoming Smart watch has the codename ‘Orbis’ and a model number SM-R720. Orbis does sound a bit orbital / round to me.

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LG May Be Dropping Google's Android For Its Next Generation Of Smartwatches

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Android
Linux
Gadgets

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that LG is planning on dropping Android Wear–Google's operating system for smartwatches–in favor of WebOS, its own operating systems found in its smart TVs. According to an anonymous source speaking to the Journal, WebOS will be used in a new line of LG smartwatches released sometime in early 2016. LG already has two smartwatches operating on Android Wear: G Watch and G Watch R.

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GoldKey's Secure Smartwatch Runs Full-Fledged Android

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Android
Gadgets

While some smartwatches give you little more than truncated notifications, and others have just a few apps, GoldKey's new Secure Communicator provides a fully-functional Android device with a speaker, microphone, camera and independent 3G connection for calls and data. Better still, the device comes preloaded with GoldKey's security software for access to encrypted storage, VoIP calls and secure transactions.

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Razer's open-source headset aims to disrupt virtual reality

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OSS
Gadgets

Do you trust Facebook to do the right thing with Oculus Rift? Would you trust any multi-billion dollar company to so thoroughly dominate a new technology that there's no room for competitors to maneuver?

Probably not.

But that's what Razer hopes to short-circuit with its OSVR, or Open Source Virtual Reality push: a completely open-source approach to both the hardware and software used in VR head mounted displays (HMD) that, if it works, stands to democratize VR.

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Robot, Is Being Programmed with Ubuntu

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Ubuntu
Gadgets

Japan is the leader in the industry of humanoid robotics, although other countries have made significant progress. One of the best and easily recognizable humanoid robots that comes from Japan is Honda's Asimo and it looks like the engineers are using Ubuntu for some of their tasks.

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More in Tux Machines

Mint 18.3: The best Linux desktop takes big steps forward

I run many operating systems every day, from macOS, to Windows 7 and 10, to more Linux desktop distributions than you can shake a stick at. And, once more, as a power-user's power user, I've found the latest version of Linux Mint to be the best of the best. Why? Let's start with the basics. MacOS has been shown to have the worst bug I've ever seen in an operating system: The macOS High Sierra security hole that lets anyone get full administrative control. Windows, old and new, continues to have multiple security bugs every lousy month. Linux? Sure, it has security problems. How many of these bugs have had serious desktop impacts? Let me see now. None. Yes, that would be zero. Read more

Today in Techrights

Security: NSA, Microsoft Debacles, and FOSS Updates

  • Script Recovers Event Logs Doctored by NSA Hacking Tool
    Security researchers have found a way to reverse the effects of an NSA hacking utility that deletes event logs from compromised machines. Last week, Fox-IT published a Python script that recovers event log entries deleted using the "eventlogedit" utility that's part of DanderSpritz, a supposed NSA cyber-weapon that was leaked online by a hacking group known as the Shadow Brokers. According to Fox-IT, they found a flaw in the DanderSpritz log cleaner when they realized the utility does not actually delete event log entries, but only unreferences them, merging entries together.
  • Pre-Installed Keylogger Discovered on Hundreds of HP Laptop Models
    A keylogger that can help record pretty much every keystroke on the computer has been discovered on HP’s devices, with a security researcher revealing that hundreds of laptop models come with this hidden software pre-installed. Michael Myng says in an analysis of the keylogger that the malicious code is hiding in the Synaptics Touchpad software and he actually discovered it when looking into ways to control the keyboard backlight on his laptop. According to his findings, the keylogger isn’t activated by default, but it can be turned on by any cybercriminals that get access to the system. The list of affected models includes hundreds of laptops like EliteBook, ProBook, Spectre, Zbook, Envy, and Pavilion.
  • Laptop touchpad driver included extra feature: a keylogger [Ed: This is the second time in recent times HP gets caught with keyloggers; This is no accident, it's intentional.]
    Flaws in software often offer a potential path for attackers to install malicious software, but you wouldn't necessarily expect a hardware vendor to include potentially malicious software built right into its device drivers. But that's exactly what a security researcher found while poking around the internals of a driver for a touchpad commonly used on HP notebook computers—a keystroke logger that could be turned on with a simple change to its configuration in the Windows registry.
  • Microsoft Needed 110 Days to Fix Critical Security Bug After First Ignoring It
    Microsoft needed more than 100 days to fix a critical credential leak in Dynamics 365 after the company originally ignored the bug report and only reacted after being warned that details could go public. Software engineer Matthias Gliwka explains in a long blog post that he discovered and reported a security flaw in Microsoft’s Customer Relationship Manager and Enterprise Resource Planning software in August, but the software giant refused to fix it on claims that administrator credentials would be required. Gliwka says he came across a wildcard transport layer security (TLS) certificate that also included the private key, which would in turn expose communications by anyone who could decrypt traffic. The developer says that extracting the certificate grants access to any sandbox environment, with absolutely no warning or message displayed to clients.
  • UK Spy Agency Finds Severe Flaw in Microsoft Antivirus in Kaspersky Bye-Bye Push
  • Security updates for Monday

OSS Leftovers

  • What is a blockchain smart contract?
    Now, in a blockchain, the important thing is that once the state has changed, you then ensure it's recorded on the blockchain so that it's public and nobody can change or challenge it. But there are other uses for blockchain technology, as I explained in "Is blockchain a security topic?" Permissionless systems, often referred to as distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) are a great fit for non-transactional state models, largely because the sort of people who are interested in them are closed groups of organisations that want to have complex sets of conditions met before they move to the next state. These aren't, by the tightest definition, blockchains. Banks and other financial institutions may be the most obvious examples where DLTs are gaining traction, but they are very useful in supply chain sectors, for instance, where you may have conditions around changing market rates, availability, and shipping times or costs, which may all play into the final price of the commodity or service being provided.
  • Running a successful open source project
    Running an open source project is easy. All you have to do is make your source code available and you’re open source, right? Well, maybe. Ultimately, whether or not an open source project is successful depends on your definition of success. Regardless of your definition, creating an open source project can be a lot of work. If you have goals regarding adoption, for example, then you need to be prepared to invest. While open source software is “free as in beer”, it’s not really free: time and energy are valuable resources and these valuable resources need to be invested in the project. So, how do you invest those resources?
  • New package repositories are now enabled by default
    During this year’s coding sprint in Toulouse (which I was able to attend, thanks to being in Europe on a study-abroad program), I spent a lot of time massaging HaikuPorts to generate a consistent-enough state of packages for us to switch to them by default, and then making the in-tree changes necessary for the switch. Thanks to this and mmlr’s comprehensive overhaul of the HaikuPorter Buildmaster over the past couple months, we have finally switched to the new repositories by default as of hrev51620. If you’ve installed a nightly image from after this, you should be able to just pkgman full-sync and upgrade away.
  • Haiku OS Is Very Close To Their Long Awaited Beta, New Repository Working
    The BeOS-inspired Haiku operating system should be issuing its long-awaited beta release by early 2018. For months there has been talk of the long-awaited beta for Haiku OS while it looks like roughly within the next month we should be actually seeing this milestone.
  • DeepVariant: Tool to call out variants in sequencing data goes open source
    Megan Molteni, Wired, decoded, at least, the very nature of the challenge to know more about our human puzzle. "Today, a teaspoon of spit and a hundred bucks is all you need to get a snapshot of your DNA. But getting the full picture—all 3 billion base pairs of your genome—requires a much more laborious process. One that, even with the aid of sophisticated statistics, scientists still struggle over." DeepVariant was developed by researchers from the Google Brain team, focused on AI techniques, and Verily, the Alphabet subsidiary focused on life sciences. It is based on the same neural network for image recognition, but DeepVariant, is now making headlines not for cat IDs but as a way to scan a genetic code for mutations. DeepVariant has gone open source. The GitHub definition of DeepVariant: "an analysis pipeline that uses a deep neural network to call genetic variants from next-generation DNA sequencing data."
  • Open source VPN clients vs VPN provider apps: which is better?
    Power users love open source software for its transparency and flexibility – but what about open source VPN software? Are there any open source VPN clients that can stand up to being compared with the more popular VPN apps from premium providers like ExpressVPN, VyprVPN, IPVanish or NordVPN? The short answer is... not really. But the long answer depends a lot on your level of technical know-how, patience, and where you’re willing to place your trust.
  • Coreboot Conference 2017 Videos Now Available
    For those interested in the open-source Coreboot project that serves as a replacement to proprietary UEFI/BIOS, the videos from their European Coreboot Conference are now available. The European Coreboot Conference 2017 (ECC'17) was held in Bochum, Germany back at the end of October.
  • Election night hackathon supports civic engagement
    On November 7, 2017, members of the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) community came together for the annual Election Night Hackathon held in the Simone Center for Student Innovation. This marked the seventh anniversary of a civic tradition for the FOSS @ MAGIC community, in which students and faculty analyze civic problems in the local community, state, or country and propose a project to address them. MAGIC Center faculty and event organizers are on hand to help students choose open source licenses and publish and share their code.
  • What is a blockchain smart contract?
    Now, in a blockchain, the important thing is that once the state has changed, you then ensure it's recorded on the blockchain so that it's public and nobody can change or challenge it. But there are other uses for blockchain technology, as I explained in "Is blockchain a security topic?" Permissionless systems, often referred to as distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) are a great fit for non-transactional state models, largely because the sort of people who are interested in them are closed groups of organisations that want to have complex sets of conditions met before they move to the next state. These aren't, by the tightest definition, blockchains. Banks and other financial institutions may be the most obvious examples where DLTs are gaining traction, but they are very useful in supply chain sectors, for instance, where you may have conditions around changing market rates, availability, and shipping times or costs, which may all play into the final price of the commodity or service being provided.
  • Running a successful open source project
    Running an open source project is easy. All you have to do is make your source code available and you’re open source, right? Well, maybe. Ultimately, whether or not an open source project is successful depends on your definition of success. Regardless of your definition, creating an open source project can be a lot of work. If you have goals regarding adoption, for example, then you need to be prepared to invest. While open source software is “free as in beer”, it’s not really free: time and energy are valuable resources and these valuable resources need to be invested in the project. So, how do you invest those resources?
  • New package repositories are now enabled by default
    During this year’s coding sprint in Toulouse (which I was able to attend, thanks to being in Europe on a study-abroad program), I spent a lot of time massaging HaikuPorts to generate a consistent-enough state of packages for us to switch to them by default, and then making the in-tree changes necessary for the switch. Thanks to this and mmlr’s comprehensive overhaul of the HaikuPorter Buildmaster over the past couple months, we have finally switched to the new repositories by default as of hrev51620. If you’ve installed a nightly image from after this, you should be able to just pkgman full-sync and upgrade away.
  • Haiku OS Is Very Close To Their Long Awaited Beta, New Repository Working
    The BeOS-inspired Haiku operating system should be issuing its long-awaited beta release by early 2018. For months there has been talk of the long-awaited beta for Haiku OS while it looks like roughly within the next month we should be actually seeing this milestone.
  • DeepVariant: Tool to call out variants in sequencing data goes open source
    Megan Molteni, Wired, decoded, at least, the very nature of the challenge to know more about our human puzzle. "Today, a teaspoon of spit and a hundred bucks is all you need to get a snapshot of your DNA. But getting the full picture—all 3 billion base pairs of your genome—requires a much more laborious process. One that, even with the aid of sophisticated statistics, scientists still struggle over." DeepVariant was developed by researchers from the Google Brain team, focused on AI techniques, and Verily, the Alphabet subsidiary focused on life sciences. It is based on the same neural network for image recognition, but DeepVariant, is now making headlines not for cat IDs but as a way to scan a genetic code for mutations. DeepVariant has gone open source. The GitHub definition of DeepVariant: "an analysis pipeline that uses a deep neural network to call genetic variants from next-generation DNA sequencing data."
  • Open source VPN clients vs VPN provider apps: which is better?
    Power users love open source software for its transparency and flexibility – but what about open source VPN software? Are there any open source VPN clients that can stand up to being compared with the more popular VPN apps from premium providers like ExpressVPN, VyprVPN, IPVanish or NordVPN? The short answer is... not really. But the long answer depends a lot on your level of technical know-how, patience, and where you’re willing to place your trust.